How to build a bird box

By Anthony Benjamin

Note: this is an American article, reproduced with permission, hence the warnings about snakes and the occasional odd Transatlantic spelling!

If you enjoy spending time around birds then you may want to build a birdhouse. Building a birdhouse is a great way to become a companion of birds. Birdhouses add attractiveness to any landscape. Crafting, designing and building birdhouses is a in-expensive hobby.

You need to construct a birdhouse that is easy to clean. It should be sturdy, cool, and rainproof as well. Remember, this is your birdhouse, so use your imagination; you will have something unique and all your own when your project is completed.

It is important not to use metal to build your birdhouse, not even nails; use non-toxic outdoor wood glue. Metal can become very hot when the sun is beating down on it, plus it can have very sharp edges. Wood is the best material to build a birdhouse. To keep water out of the entrance of the birdhouse you need the roof to pitch enough to shed water.

Add a couple small holes near the top of the birdhouse for ventilation on hot days. The bottom of the birdhouse should be constructed with screws, so it will be easy to take apart when you clean it.

When your bird house is built it is time to mount it. When mounting your birdhouse it is important to keep in mind predators, such as squirrels, cats and snakes. Place your bird house mount out of the range of jumping and climbing animals.

The best mount for a birdhouse is PVC pipe which can be purchased inexpensively at your local home hardware supply store. Get an 8′ long piece of PVC that is 3 or 4″ in diameter. Also be sure and buy a “flange” that will fit into the PVC.

When looking at a ‘flange’ from the side it has the shape of a man’s dress hat, as one would also look at the dress hat from from its side view. The round part of the ‘hat’ – or ‘flange’ slips down, about 2″ into one end of the PVC pipe. The flat part of the ‘hat’ – or ‘flange’ should have a small hole pre-drilled in each corner. A large, approx. 12″ x 12″ piece of plywood is attached, to the flat part of the ‘hat’ or ‘flange’ with screws via the pre-drilled holes. Be sure this is placed in the middle of the 12″ x 12 plywood. This will serve as your birdhouse base.

Now turn this over and simply slide the round part of the ‘hat’ – or ‘flange’ into the end of your PVC pipe. On top of this securely mount your bird house. When you have moved your PVC to an upright mounting position, you would be looking upward, and see the screws that attached the flange to your 12″ x 12″ base.

Now it’s time to mount your bird house. Dig about an 18″ hole and drop it in! Be sure and pack the dirt solidly back around the base to secure it. For added security you could pick up an inexpensive bag of ready mix cement. Just mix it with water, set the PVC in the middle of the hole and pour the cement evenly around it. It is a good idea if you could put your hands on a level to make sure your PVC stays vertically straight while working. That’s all there is to it!

When you are ready to clean your bird house simple unscrew the 12″ x 12″ base mounting screws, slide off the base with its attached birdhouse and clean it! When cleaned, replace the 12″ x 12″ base and reinsert your screws. Now wasn’t that easy!

If you lightly coat the PVC pipe mount with in-expensive vegetable oil ants and other crawling insects will not be able to climb disturb the bird nest.

Don’t forget to treat your feathered friend with feeders, bird baths or bird pond sprinkle the area with some wild flower seeds. When your wild flower are in bloom your feathered friend will provide you with constant delight.

About the author

Anthony Benjamin is an avid world traveller, lover of nature and animals. He loves to write and share his wealth of information and adventures in his writings. His favourite place to retreat and write is his summer home, secluded high on a mountaintop in the Great Smoky Mountains. Visit his website here: http://www.appalachian-treasures.com.

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